Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson says his side are a far improved team compared to last time they faced St George Illawarra, and they’ll get the chance to prove that come Sunday.
The Roosters’ 24-8 Anzac Day loss to the Dragons was seen as the changing point of their season, as they completed a two-week period where they scored only a combined two tries despite their all-star roster.
But it also came in a month where Robinson spent weeks tinkering with the team’s attack to help bring out the best in new recruits Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco.
Since that loss the Roosters have won eight of their last 10, culminating in Sunday’s 56-24 flogging of Manly – the club’s highest ever score at an away venue.
With their defence still the best statistically in the league, there’s now no question the Roosters attack is flying.
And this Sunday’s match is also crucial in that the Roosters are now fourth, just two points behind the ladder-leading trio of Melbourne, the Dragons and South Sydney.
Their superior for-and-against would see them leapfrog the Dragons with a win, while they could also go as high as first despite their slow start if there were to be other upsets.
“That’s a long time ago,” Robinson said of their round-eight loss to the Dragons.
“We’ve made some significant decisions around that time. We’re improved but we’re not there yet.”
The Roosters are adamant they still have plenty of improvement left in them despite Sunday’s big win over the Sea Eagles.
Manly were poor but what impressed Robinson most was the fact their attack never wavered as they stuck to a plan and had enough variety to continue to trouble the Sea Eagles with Jake Friend, Luke Keary and Tedesco all firing.
And that’s exactly what they’ll need come September.
“You want to be playing a good style of football now,” Robinson said.
“You want to be on the improve and you want to be fresh. That’s what we’re working towards.”
“A good step in the right direction and being in the top four is a bonus.”